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Posted at 6:09 AM ET, 12/ 8/2010

Hugues Cuénod

By Anne Midgette

Hugues Cuénod...

1. was a fine light French tenor
2. was alive until this month, when he died at 108 years of age
3. made his last professional singing appearance at the age of 92 (M. Triquet in "Eugene Onegin," that quintessential role for elderly French tenors)
4. was one of the first Swiss citizens to enter into legal same-sex partnership, which he did at the age of 104
5. sang on the quartet that Nadia Boulanger put together in the 1930s for the first commercial recording of Monteverdi's madrigals, a revelation to music-lovers at the time. (The quartet also included the Countess Marie-Blanche de Polignac, the daughter of the designer Lanvin who later took over her mother's fashion house - a detail I cribbed from this book.)
6. made his debut in Ernst Krenek's "Jonny spielt auf," one of the biggest opera hits of the 1920s

Emma Brown has written a lovely obituary in the Washington Post of someone who appears to have had an eminently well-lived life.

By Anne Midgette  | December 8, 2010; 6:09 AM ET
Categories:  news, opera  
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Comments

Another remarcable recording of Mr. Cuenod's is Bach's Matthaeus-Passion led by Hermann Scherchen, which was just re-issued by Tahra. It's still one of the greatest recordings of the work, due to both Cuenod's contribution as well as Scherchen's inspired conducting.

RIP.

Posted by: cicciofrancolando | December 8, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

For DC opera lovers - West End Cinema is hosting Opera in Cinema beginning in Jan. Check their site for details:
http://westendcinema.com/coming_soon.html#traviata

Posted by: laurie1545 | December 8, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

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